Uruguay’s status as the first nation to regulate the cultivation and sales of marijuana is safe for now.

Tabaré Vázquez is the victor in Sunday’s presidential runoff election. And although he’s not as gung-ho about the still-in-progress cannabis marketplace scheme endorsed by former prez José “Pepe” Mujica, he’s going to let this thing play out.

National Party opposition candidate Lacalle Pou said he’d reverse the whole thing if he won. Whew.

The Washington, D.C. Drug Policy Alliance also breathed a sigh of relief this week, saying in a statement that this vote “had major implications for the future of Uruguay’s historic marijuana regulation.”

Luckily winner Vázquez is from the left-of-center coalition that Mujica helped to lead.

It was nearly one year ago that the Uruguayan parliament approved the cannabis regulation scheme, “making their country the first in the world to legally regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adults,” says the DPA.

Hannah Hetzer, Policy Manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance, says:

Sunday’s presidential election result safeguards Uruguay’s historic marijuana legalization. The Uruguayan people determinedly chose the presidential candidate who will continue the country’s progressive policies, including the roll out of the world’s first national legally regulated marijuana market.

In your face, United States.

About The Author


Raul Duke has been working as a journalist in Southern California for two decades. The medical marijuana juggernaut is one of his many beats. He's a longtime Westside resident who needs to renew his doctor's recommendation soon. If you have news tips, reach out: raul@the420times.com

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